Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Learning to Let the Light In

Five years ago, as an angsty little high school graduate, I created this blog as a platform on which to talk about my life as a person with dwarfism. At that time, I needed a place to vent about all of the ~problems~ I had, because when you're stuck living at home with your parents in Small Town, Illinois and attending community college, every little ~problem~ felt like the end of the world. And then there was my disability. WOE WAS ME.

Anyways, it served me well for a while. I got to meet so many great people who read my blog from all corners of the world. And whenever I was feeling a little needy, I could just log on and complain about my life, and y'all would flood my inbox with your kind words. The attention I got from my blog brought me a really warped sense of confidence and righteousness, and I ended up using it to serve my own needs more often than educate other people about dwarfism. College came and went, and while I tried to use my blog to document the growth and change I was experiencing, I lost sight of my purpose. Those years brought some truly dark times, and because I was getting a lot of attention for my disability, I found it easy to also blame my disability for all of the things that were wrong. Over the last several years, I let myself become a very bitter person and my blog reflected that. If you scroll back now, most of those posts are gone because I'm learning that it's ok to not like who you used to be.

Since I last logged on here, I have been diligently working through a lot of personal things. But I decided to come back and try this again as a part of my journey of forgiveness of myself and others. I am working on developing a more positive identity as a woman with a disability. Sure, awful things do and will still happen, because we live in a really broken world that does not value people with disabilities. And awful things do and will still happen because of a million other reasons in my life, no thanks to my dwarfism.

But good things happen too. Like, really, really good things. So I want to share them with you. Not to boast or build some shiny fa├žade that I've got my shit together. I just hope to change the narrative. Because if there was anything I needed growing up, it was to see a woman with a disability who was happy with the things that went right in her life. So at the risk of embarrassment, I'm willing to share, should it be a light to someone else. And if no one reads this but my mom, well, then I'll do it for myself.

If you signed up for email alerts from my blog in 2013 (seriously, y'all get a gold medal because I've been weird) or you met me within the last few years and had no idea I had a blog, I hope you stick around because I think good things are coming. Recently I completed a challenging clinical placement, traveled to Mexico, and have met some truly incredibly people-- all which have shaped my journey into coming home to myself and settling in with my identity as a woman with a disability, among other things. I can't promise that I won't ever talk about the bad stuff, because that does have an important role in advocacy. But I finally finally finally feel as if maybe life has hit me just enough times to teach me that those cracks are where the light gets through.

I can't pinpoint the moment things changed. I don't know the recipe, but it happened somewhere between a lot of coffee, poetry, and really forgiving friends. If you've figured it out, I celebrate with you. If you haven't, I've been there, and your feelings are valid. But the sunshine feels good. And I promise that no matter how unfair life feels, it's coming.

Goodbye for now. Love to you. Take care of yourselves.

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